Williamsport- The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society will be hosting a Coffee Hour lecture on Thursday, November 14, 2019, at 10:00am. The lecture, given by local historian Rich Nornhold, will address the tradition of clear candy making with a look at some of the metal molds that were used. Nornhold will have samples of the candy for the guests to try and will encourage folks to make their own clear candy. He will bring all the supplies necessary to make the candy.
On Christmas Eve following a long-established tradition, children of Pennsylvania German families would leave a plate on the table hoping that it would be filled with nuts, an apple or an orange, and clear toy candy. The candy, often made in whimsical shapes such as farm animals, trains, or Father Christmas were created from a solution of corn syrup (alternately barley water), sugar, and water. Yellow, red or green food coloring were often used to enhance the candy’s appeal.
Nornhold, a native of Snyder County, has been studying and admiring decorative arts for most of his life. He remembers his great great grandfather handing out clear candy as Christmas mementoes to his extensive family. This left an indelible impression on Nornold. His early love of history developed into a teaching career which spanned forty years, teaching history and government studies at Warrior Run High School. As well, he has been associated with the Warrior Run/Fort Freeland Heritage Days Apprenticeship program. He is proficient in mentoring twelve different trades, including coopering.
The lecture is one of the remaining lectures of the 2019 Series which has focused on Decorative Arts, Craftspeople, Collections and Collecting. A final lecture will be held on Thursday, December 12 at 10:00am, at which time John DeWald will be speaking on scrimshaw and the carving of powder horns. His lecture will be followed by an interlude of music as sung by the Williamsport Music Club. The 2019 Lecture Series is sponsored by the Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts.
Rich Nornhold will return on December 14, 2019 at 2pm in the Taber’s Community Room for a children's workshop on the same subject. This workshop will explore candy-making and the children will learn to make clear candy and of course, the children will be encouraged to ‘taste’ their creations! For this workshop, a parent (or an adult guardian) must accompany the child.
The museum is located at 858 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, and ample parking may be found on the parking lot behind the museum or on the street. For further information, please call 570.326.3326